Homeschooled students having terrible social skills is the most prevalent myth about homeschooling and is the most incorrect. Based on the curriculum, homeschooling allows students to interact with family, neighbors, and other members of the community while the public school system requires students to learn in the classroom with the same 30 kids every day. Here are options available to homeschooled student to help with their socialization skills.
You’re not alone when it comes to helping your child’s socialization skills. Homeschool support groups often schedule field trips and days in the park as opportunities for your child to socialize with other children and make friends. You can search for these groups online. There are plenty of websites that help homeschoolers search for groups in their state and may be a good place to get started. Remember that some homeschool groups have specific religious or pedagogical beliefs, and that you may have to look around a bit to find one that fits you, your child, and your homeschooling style.
Most states require schools to allow homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities at the school they would have attended while others leave it up to the school district. Contact your local public school to ask whether they allow homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities and to ask for a list of available clubs, activities, and sport teams. You may also be able to find some information on the school or school district’s website.
Classes and Clubs
When it comes to classes and clubs, you have a lot of different options to choose from. Most towns have a recreation centers that offer sport leagues and summer camps. Public libraries tend to offer a wide range of different classes to learn new skills and if you child is interested, they usually offer some type of book club. Remember that socialization is just as important as any course your child might take. Children have a developmental need for social interaction with their peers so make sure to expose your child to many different avenues for socialization. As children work out who they are and where they fit in the world, they benefit from being exposed to a variety of different people and activities.
While homeschooled children can be well socialized, don’t assume it will happen automatically. Listen to your child when they ask about making friends or participating in activities outside the home, be on the lookout for new opportunities and places to take your child, and be willing to make changes if things aren’t working. If you feel your child isn’t getting enough interaction with people outside your home, ask them what they’re interested in, and what they’re looking for in terms of friends and time with friends.